A week after cutting some 300 staffers from the company in order to reorganize, ESPN announced today it would suspend the Bill Simmons-created website Grantland.com “effectively immediately.”
Simmons left the company last May, joining HBO. Several key editors of the site have also left the company, hired by Simmons.
Grantland launched in 2011 as a mixture of sports, pop culture and movie reviews.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise,” the company said in a statement.
“Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun. We are grateful to those who made it so. Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent. Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality.
“We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.
“Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms.”
ESPN recently reported that Grantland had continued readership growth. It also posted a story about the Grantland decision on its website.
An ESPN spokesperson said all Grantland writers — about 40 of them — will have their contracts honored with the intent to use them on other ESPN platforms.
After the announcement, Simmons tweeted out:
I loved everyone I worked with at G and loved what we built. Watching good/kind/talented people get treated so callously = simply appalling.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 30, 2015